Ranchi police on Sunday read the riot act to protesters in the wake of a string of violent demonstrations in and around the capital over the past couple of months.
An FIR has been lodged against 12 persons for vandalising business establishments and triggering unrest in the city on Friday amid Janmashtami celebrations.
The VHP, Bajrang Dal and Hindu Jagran Manch have called a dawn-to-dusk bandh on Monday in protest. Several capital schools, including DPS, cradles of DAV Group, Loyola, Bridgeford, Bishop Westcott and St Thomas, will remain closed on Monday.
Tension had peaked on the arterial Main Road on Friday afternoon when 500-odd people went on a two-hour rampage while protesting against the ethnic violence in the Rakhine province of Myanmar, which is home to a large number of Muslims.
“On the basis of reports and photographs published in newspapers, we have identified some 12 persons who instigated the unrest. We have filed a named FIR and booked them under various sections,” said SSP Saket Kumar Singh.
Unrest of a larger magnitude had rocked Ranchi on July 25, when people protesting an education hub in Nagri, 15km away, sponsored a bandh in the city, attacked commuters and damaging vehicles. At a news meet a couple of days later, the SSP had assured of strict action against the culprits.
Though Singh could not be reached a second time on Sunday, city SP Vipul Shukla said FIRs had been lodged against the culprits. “Henceforth, any kind of violence in the name of protest or dharna in any part of the city will be booked immediately,” he added.
In a related development, Lalpur police cracked the whip on the Adivasi Moolvasi Chhatra Morcha for creating ruckus at Ranchi Women’s College on Sunday morning.
The college was conducting an interview for posts of teachers around 10am, when members of the students’ outfit attacked non-tribal candidates branding them as “outsiders”. Morcha president Kamlesh Ram was detained to bring the situation under control.
City SP Shukla maintained that though everyone was free to demonstrate in a free country, no one would be allowed to mock the law. “No one will be spared for disrupting peace,” he added.